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Pakistan woman survives ‘honor killing’ attempt

Saba Maqsood, 19, was shot twice and beaten by her father, uncle and two other close relatives

Published: Updated:

A Pakistani woman who was brutally beaten, shot and dumped in a canal by her relatives for marrying against their wishes has survived her harrowing ordeal, police said Friday.

Saba Maqsood, 19, was shot twice and beaten by her father, uncle and two other close relatives on Tuesday after they learned she had secretly married. Police have since launched a manhunt for her alleged attackers.

The incident occurred in Gujranwala town, some 70 kilometer north of Lahore, the capital of central Punjab province where a woman was murdered last month in broad daylight by her relatives outside a courthouse in a case that caused global outrage.

“First they brutally beat her (Saba) and then shot her twice. She was then put in a sack and thrown in a canal,” police investigator Zabitay Khan told AFP.

“They had presumed her dead but she managed to open the sack and came out of the canal,” Khan said, adding Saba had married her neighbor against the wishes of her parents.

Police were alerted to the teenager's plight after she managed to crawl out of the canal and reach a security guard at a nearby petrol pump.

Police have launched a search and carried out several raids to arrest Saba's attackers but they have fled the town, Khan added.

Shiraz Farooqi, a doctor in a main hospital in Hafiz Abad, where the girl was under medical treatment told AFP that she was in a stable condition and recovering from her ordeal.

Many Pakistani women have no say in who they marry and disobeying the wishes of relatives is believed to bring shame on the whole family.

Last year 869 women died in so-called “honor killings” according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

But Pakistan's blood-money laws allow a victim's family to forgive the murderer, which makes prosecuting so-called “honor” cases difficult because the killer is usually a relative.